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The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship among the number of bacteria, number of goblet cells, gut mucin gene expression, mucin protein and immunity protein levels of rats fed a diet containing freeze-dried ovine Ig (FD). Sprague Dawley male rats were used in a 21-days study and were fed a basal control diet (BD; no Ig) and a test diet containing freeze-dried ovine Ig (FD). Diets were isocaloric and contained the same amount of the first limiting amino acids, methionine plus cysteine. Pearson's correlation analysis was conducted on the data (stomach, ileum and colon) obtained from individual rats (n = 10) fed either casein-based diet (BD) or ovine serum Ig (FD) to evaluate the relationship between number of bacteria, number of goblet cells, gut mucin gene expression and gut mucin protein levels. Pearson's correlation analysis was then conducted with the data from the FD fed rats to evaluate the relationship among the above said variables. In the stomach content, a significant (p < .05) correlation was found between the Muc5Ac gene expression and mucosal mucin protein. In the ileum and colon, a significant (p < .05) correlation was observed among the mRNA levels of mucin (Muc2 and Muc4) genes. There was also evidence of a strong relationship (p < .05) between digesta mucin and mucosal mucin protein concentrations. A negative correlation of mucosal IgA protein concentration with total Lactobacillus (in ileum and colon) and total bacteria (in the ileum) was not evident with FD fed rats when compared to the results obtained using both BD and FD fed rats. In conclusion, this study suggests that feeding freeze-dried ovine Ig in growing rats results in a strong correlation between the number of bacteria, mucin and immunity proteins. © 2020 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Prabhu Balan, Maryann Staincliffe, Paul J Moughan. Dietary supplementation with ovine serum immunoglobulin modulates correlations between mucin, microbiota and immunity proteins in the growing rat. Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition. 2020 Mar;104(2):758-766

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PMID: 31994255

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